Google Voice number

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rjbraun
Posts: 1701
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:22 pm

Google Voice number

Post by rjbraun »

Volunteered to make numerous outreach calls for an event. As we will use our personal phones for the outgoing calls (all domestic, but out-of-state), I expressed concerns to the event organizer about maintaining privacy. The organizer encourage us "to get a Google Voice number to mask personal details".

I am not familiar with Google Voice (GV) nor do I feel particularly well-versed about telecommunications, etc., though I did do some online searching to try to understand things better.

Questions:

If I manage to get a Google Voice number, will that be "safe"? Will my identity be protected? Also, there were no numbers available for where I live, is that an issue? Can one legitimately just get a GV number for a different geographic area?

Any financial / monetary costs to be aware of, either up-front or hidden, down the road that can pop up (unexpectedly?), etc.?

For now, we offered to participate in a couple of volunteer sessions, this week and next. Can we just use Google Voice for those two periods and then close things out? Would we keep the GV number until next week, and then close things out then?

Anything else I should know about in advance?

Thank you!
runner3081
Posts: 3564
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Google Voice number

Post by runner3081 »

1) Yes, if you get a new G Voice number, it will not get tied back to you... unless you use your name and the phone number together somewhere that gets scraped into a directory, etc.

2) Zero costs, I have had G Voice for many years. I only paid twice, but that was well known and for particular situation (porting a number in and keeping a second number).

3) Yes, you it as long or as short as you want. Honestly, I would just keep it and shut down calls from coming into your phone on that number. Then you have it down the road, if need again.
cyclist
Posts: 143
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:04 am

Re: Google Voice number

Post by cyclist »

Yes, it's safe and effective. I've used it on get-out-the-vote campaigns in the past.

Go for it.

Cyclist
Topic Author
rjbraun
Posts: 1701
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:22 pm

Re: Google Voice number

Post by rjbraun »

runner3081 wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:17 pm 1) Yes, if you get a new G Voice number, it will not get tied back to you... unless you use your name and the phone number together somewhere that gets scraped into a directory, etc.

2) Zero costs, I have had G Voice for many years. I only paid twice, but that was well known and for particular situation (porting a number in and keeping a second number).

3) Yes, you it as long or as short as you want. Honestly, I would just keep it and shut down calls from coming into your phone on that number. Then you have it down the road, if need again.
Thank you, very helpful.

The information you wrote in 1) concerns me a bit, along with something similar I thought I read online. Namely, how easy it is for me to "mess up" and then have my phone number unmasked? So, for the volunteer event I will be making numerous calls over a 2-hour period. If it's a matter of setting things up at the start, making the calls, and then at the end undoing what I set up, that seems manageable. Instead, if it's a matter of setting things up for each outgoing call or risk being unmasked, I could see slipping up here and there (or more).

Sorry, I realize that my question may not make sense in practice, but as I've never had a GV number I'm a bit confused!

Thanks again!
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batpot
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Re: Google Voice number

Post by batpot »

If you use gmail now, you'd want to create a new account for this, just so the number isn't forever associated w/ your gmail account.
If you want to make outgoing calls (sounds like you will), you'll either need a headset on your computer, or you can forward calls to your cell phone's number.
If you use it on your cell phone, you'll need to install the google voice app, logged in under your new google account, and one of the settings is always use GV, never use it, or choose for each call.
When you're done w/ your campaign, just log back in to your google account, and remove your forwarding number.
hicabob
Posts: 3156
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 5:35 pm
Location: cruz

Re: Google Voice number

Post by hicabob »

rjbraun wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:33 pm
runner3081 wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:17 pm 1) Yes, if you get a new G Voice number, it will not get tied back to you... unless you use your name and the phone number together somewhere that gets scraped into a directory, etc.

2) Zero costs, I have had G Voice for many years. I only paid twice, but that was well known and for particular situation (porting a number in and keeping a second number).

3) Yes, you it as long or as short as you want. Honestly, I would just keep it and shut down calls from coming into your phone on that number. Then you have it down the road, if need again.
Thank you, very helpful.

The information you wrote in 1) concerns me a bit, along with something similar I thought I read online. Namely, how easy it is for me to "mess up" and then have my phone number unmasked? So, for the volunteer event I will be making numerous calls over a 2-hour period. If it's a matter of setting things up at the start, making the calls, and then at the end undoing what I set up, that seems manageable. Instead, if it's a matter of setting things up for each outgoing call or risk being unmasked, I could see slipping up here and there (or more).

Sorry, I realize that my question may not make sense in practice, but as I've never had a GV number I'm a bit confused!

Thanks again!
It's easy to cancel a GV number and get a new one if you get on undesirable phone lists. GV has good features including blacklisting caller numbers, very good answering service .... even sends email with world class voice to text . The price is right too.
j0nnyg1984
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Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:55 am

Re: Google Voice number

Post by j0nnyg1984 »

I ported my Verizon wireless number to GV probably 7 years ago. Have had the app (hangouts, now) on my company iPhone the whole time and never have had an issue. No cost. Edit: actually, I think I paid a one time fee to port my existing number to GV, but this won’t be relevant to you.

Wonderful service.
runner3081
Posts: 3564
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Google Voice number

Post by runner3081 »

rjbraun wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:33 pm
runner3081 wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:17 pm 1) Yes, if you get a new G Voice number, it will not get tied back to you... unless you use your name and the phone number together somewhere that gets scraped into a directory, etc.

2) Zero costs, I have had G Voice for many years. I only paid twice, but that was well known and for particular situation (porting a number in and keeping a second number).

3) Yes, you it as long or as short as you want. Honestly, I would just keep it and shut down calls from coming into your phone on that number. Then you have it down the road, if need again.
Thank you, very helpful.

The information you wrote in 1) concerns me a bit, along with something similar I thought I read online. Namely, how easy it is for me to "mess up" and then have my phone number unmasked? So, for the volunteer event I will be making numerous calls over a 2-hour period. If it's a matter of setting things up at the start, making the calls, and then at the end undoing what I set up, that seems manageable. Instead, if it's a matter of setting things up for each outgoing call or risk being unmasked, I could see slipping up here and there (or more).

Sorry, I realize that my question may not make sense in practice, but as I've never had a GV number I'm a bit confused!

Thanks again!
Type that phone number and a name or email together on a form, etc, it could happen.
Topic Author
rjbraun
Posts: 1701
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:22 pm

Re: Google Voice number

Post by rjbraun »

batpot wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:51 pm If you use gmail now, you'd want to create a new account for this, just so the number isn't forever associated w/ your gmail account.
If you want to make outgoing calls (sounds like you will), you'll either need a headset on your computer, or you can forward calls to your cell phone's number.
If you use it on your cell phone, you'll need to install the google voice app, logged in under your new google account, and one of the settings is always use GV, never use it, or choose for each call.
When you're done w/ your campaign, just log back in to your google account, and remove your forwarding number.
Thank you. Regarding your first point, I already have a couple of gmail accounts that aren't my primary one, but if I follow you I guess I will want to create a brand new gmail account that will be only tied to this new G Voice number.
Topic Author
rjbraun
Posts: 1701
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:22 pm

Re: Google Voice number

Post by rjbraun »

j0nnyg1984 wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:03 pm I ported my Verizon wireless number to GV probably 7 years ago. Have had the app (hangouts, now) on my company iPhone the whole time and never have had an issue. No cost. Edit: actually, I think I paid a one time fee to port my existing number to GV, but this won’t be relevant to you.

Wonderful service.
Sounds nice. I am kicking myself now for not having ported my land line number earlier. I kept reading about how it was possible but never took the time to look into it. At least not enough to make it happen. And it sounded too good to be true, anyway. Sigh. Live and learn, I guess.
arf30
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Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:55 am

Re: Google Voice number

Post by arf30 »

Google Voice is like having a virtual cell phone - I have it set to never ring, so I'm comfortable giving out the number anywhere and it keeps my real phone number from being spammed. Also in places where you're forced to use SMS based MFA it's considered a bit more secure than a real cell phone number.
nydoc
Posts: 147
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:57 pm

Re: Google Voice number

Post by nydoc »

I am using GV number since 2009. Since then I have changed my personal number 10-15 times. I never had to change my number in accounts and other places. They all have my GV number including all my contacts. I do not remember my own personal number now.
DoTheMath
Posts: 417
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Location: The Plains

Re: Google Voice number

Post by DoTheMath »

To echo what others have said, I've had a GV number for 15 years and never had trouble. It is the number I give out to anyone who needs to have my cell phone number. It is convenient in various ways to have it be GV number instead of my "real" cell phone number.

To answer one of your implicit questions, you use it by calling out using the GV app. Other than using the GV app instead of the phone app[1], it's functionally the same as using your phone as you do now.

The only thing to be aware of is that if you have very low limits on how many minutes you can talk on your phone, or on the data you can use, then GV might run you over these limits. For example, if you have an old or very frugal cell phone plan with very limited minutes, but unlimited cellphone-to-cellphone minutes, then GV is probably using the former, even if you call a cellphone. And GV uses data to send you texts and (I'm guessing) voice mails. But this is a non-issue for almost everyone.


[1] I don't know why, but it kinda blew my mind when a friend pointed out some years ago that the phone function of a smart phone is just another app. This occurred to him because his phone app kept crashing during phone calls! :twisted:
“I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains...” -- John Muir
calvin111
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Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2019 8:28 pm

Re: Google Voice number

Post by calvin111 »

I also have GV for a long time. Very easy to use. You can have an app on your mobile and it can just do voice call (without using your phone network like AT&T or Tmobile). It is just a phone call over data / wifi.

Separate phone number is good. No one will know your real number. Even for outgoing call, you can use GV.

I use it for many craiglists, or store rewards account, or any other random place where I need to give my phone number.
sycamore
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue May 08, 2018 12:06 pm

Re: Google Voice number

Post by sycamore »

I'm another long-time satisfied GV user.

There are various configuration settings you may need to tweak but the defaults should work fine.

Some people like to use their regular phone app to make calls. In that case, look in the Android settings for the GV app, under Calls > Calls started from this device's phone app. "Do you want to use your Google Voice number when calling from this device's phone app?" You can choose Yes, No, or Select number before each call.

I choose No for that option, meaning I use the regular phone app to make calls with my regular phone number, and use the GV app to make calls with my GV number.
BogleMelon
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Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:49 am

Re: Google Voice number

Post by BogleMelon »

I ported from VZW to GV a year ago. I am on a different camp here. I got some issues since then. Calls droping was basically the deal breaker for me. I am now back to VZW which is way better for me. I still have a GV number that I use to get my voice messages diverted to it.
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